Kamla responds to energy charade …”PM OUT OF TOUCH”

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Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, says Government may well be chasing multinational energy companies out of Trinidad and Tobago.

Following the energy charade on Wednesday, Persad-Bissessar issued the following press statement:

“The show put on at the Hyatt on Wednesday 14th March, 2018 in an attempt to give citizens the impression that the Government is working, fell short of expectations, and the Prime Minister also demonstrated just how out of touch he is with the country’s current economic reality.

It appears that apart from being another Public Relations exercise, the event was aimed at “bouffing” multinational companies in the energy sector.

The tone of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley’s speech and his statements about multinational companies will likely cause uncertainty in the energy sector, and further discourage and deter investment.  Following that tirade, I wouldn’t be surprised if these multinational companies seek to do business elsewhere, in friendly, more stable environments.

Rowley seems to have moved on from blaming the Opposition to blaming our largest investors, proving that he will lash out anyone to cover his own incompetence.

Rowley and members of his Cabinet waded into stakeholders in the energy sector, particularly multinational companies, stating that “as a country, we had incentivized ourselves into a financial loss position and it was time to change”.

He announced his Government’s intentions to re-open and re-negotiate contracts of multi-nationals in the energy sector as “Government finds the situation with the li­quefied natural gas mar­keting arrangements to be untenable, in that significant revenues are flowing offshore while Government is facing severe revenue shortfalls.”

Such statements can potentially have the effect of not only driving away potential investors; they could place current investments by multinational energy companies at risk.

It must be noted that a former head of bpTT has spoken of the positive impact of the incentives put in place by the former People’s Partnership administration, which I led.

Outgoing BPTT regional president, Norman Christie just this week said that the capital allowance incentives granted by the previous People’s Partnership administration.

“were instrumental in supporting BP’s decision to invest US$6 billion in T& T between 2011 and 2017, which led to the construction of the Juniper platform, the establishment of TROC (Trinidad Onshore Compression project) and the discovery of 2 trillion cubic feet (tcf ) of gas in the Savannah and Macadamia exploration wells, off Trinidad’s east coast. So, you could say it was a stroke of brilliance on the part of the country and the Government (People’s Partnership), because it provided the incentive to invest, we kept our promise and invested but then the benefit we were expecting in terms of a write off against immediate revenue, we could not take because there was no revenue.”

Having no ideas, vision or plan for the development of the energy sector, or for the diversification of our economy, Dr. Rowley continues his attempts at misleading the public, and maligning the good work of the former People’s Partnership Government.

The Prime Minister failed to address what measures would be put in place to generate revenue, create sustainable jobs, and revitalize sectors to drive economic growth.

The Government should be focused on stabilizing the economy and working on fixing the issues facing the country, rather than in engaging in yet another unnecessary, expensive talk shop.

One of the main responsibilities of a Government is to provide and invest in the people of the country, and this Rowley-led Government has done absolutely nothing in 30 months in office.

Once again he has shown that he is not up to the task of fulfilling his role as Prime Minister, and is incapable of governing this country.

Rowley and his Government have failed the people of Trinidad and Tobago, and the time has come for him to step down.

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Kamla Persad-Bissessar 

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